Statement on Gaza from Alison Thewliss MP

I support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and have publicly spoken out on this at the demonstrations in Glasgow and in Parliament. Hospitals, schools, and humanitarian workers must never be a target in conflict. I support the immediate release of the hostages taken by Hamas following their brutal attack on the 7th of October. 

I have signed the following cross-party Early Day Motion in Parliament:

The SNP have led calls for a ceasefire, with First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP reiterating this view in recent days:

My SNP colleagues and I have tabled the following amendment to the King’s Speech, which will most likely be voted on in Parliament on today, Wednesday 15th November. 

Amendment (h): 

At end add ‘but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to include measures that would require the Government to uphold international law and protect all civilians in Israel and Palestine; unequivocally condemn the horrific killings by Hamas and the taking of hostages; reaffirm that there must be an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people; call for the urgent release of all hostages and an end to the siege of Gaza to allow vital supplies of food, fuel, medicine and water to reach the civilian population; note the growing calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire from the United Nations and its aid agencies; and therefore call on the Government to join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.’

Given the very grave humanitarian situation in Gaza, I was glad to see the Scottish Government has pledged £750,000 to UNRWA. This is an important commitment, but it only goes a small way to help those in need. There is a need for the international community to do more to commit to support those desperately in need, and also for routes to be established to allow that aid to get in to Gaza. It cannot be right that the Secretary General of the United Nations has had to go to the Rafah crossing and plead for aid trucks to be allowed in.

I fully support the investigation of all war crimes, and believe that those who have perpetrated such acts must be held to account.  

I am deeply concerned about the continued supply of arms to Israel. This happens in a context where the UK Parliamentary committee which is supposed to scrutinise this – the Joint Committee on Arms Export Controls –  has not met this year. I raised this on Tuesday during the Statement on Gaza:

My colleague Brendan O’Hara, the SNP’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson also raised wider concerns over the situation and called again for a ceasefire:



A Glasgow Central constituent has received a refund of £1,185 after contacting their local Member of Parliament.

The constituent is currently studying at the University of Glasgow and lives with their partner in Glasgow.

After the constituent’s partner had claimed asylum due to unsafe conditions in his home country, Libya, as well as the constituent being a full-time student, the family began to receive a Council Tax bill in January of this year.

Due to the constituent’s grant from Libya coming to an end in May, the family’s financial situation had reached a critical point.

As the constituent is residing in private accommodation, the Home Office deemed them ineligible for any further financial support.

The constituent was also asked to provide evidence that their partner was not receiving financial support from the Home Office, however had been struggling to get in contact with them.

In addition to the lack of income, the constituent was hit with a council tax bill of a whopping £3,016.56.

Due to the issues being faced by these financial complications, the constituent contacted the office of Alison Thewliss, the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, to see what support could be offered.

The Glasgow Central MP’s team were able to contact Glasgow City Council on this matter to discuss the situation that the constituent was in.

Following regular dialogue with GCC, it was confirmed that the constituent would be eligible for the student exemption.

As the constituent was eligible for this exemption, they were able to have their Council Tax bill reduced by £1,185.

Commenting, the constituent said:

“It is such a relief to be able to see my Council Tax going down by such a big amount. These past few months have been a real worry for my family and to have this bill reduced will make a huge difference to our lives.

“This student exemption is such a crucial thing to have until the end of September and has lifted a huge weight off my family’s shoulders.

“When I contacted the office of Alison Thewliss, I really was at my wits’ end. I didn’t know what to do and where to turn and felt that by contacting my MP, they could help the difficult situation that I was in.

“After contacting Alison, her team were so welcoming and helpful throughout all of this, and I can’t thank them enough for the support.

“If anyone finds themselves in a difficult position such as mine, I urge them to contact Alison’s office as their support has really made a huge difference to my family’s life.”

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Over the past few months, my constituent has been so patient throughout what must have been a distressing time for them and their family.

“My team were able to contact Glasgow City Council to gain an understanding of the issues that were being faced by the constituent and what could be done to provide further support. 

“I want to give a thanks to Glasgow City Council for their continuous dialogue throughout this case and their understanding of the difficulties being faced by the constituent.

“If any Glasgow Central constituents are in need of support, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email:, or via phone call: 0141 552 7117. My team are always more than happy to help with a range of issues and urge any constituent to contact my team.”



Alison Thewliss, the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, has called for a more compassionate approach from the UK Government to drug users following new figures on the number of drug deaths across Scotland.

The new figures show the Glasgow City Council area had the highest rate of drug misuse deaths over a five-year period (44.4 per 100,000).

These new figures come after the Scottish Government proposed the decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use in July.

Ministers in Scotland urged the UK Government to agree to proposals in an attempt to save more lives through this policy.

Speaking at a press conference in July, Scotland’s drugs policy minister Elena Whitham called for a public health approach to tackling the drugs crisis.

She said discrimination would mean people found in possession of drugs were “treated and supported rather than criminalised and excluded”.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“While it is encouraging to see a significant decrease in drug deaths, these figures remain unacceptably high. My thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one to drugs. 

“This reduction in deaths should serve as a catalyst for even greater efforts to provide assistance and opportunities for recovery to those who need it most. The root causes of substance abuse, such as poverty, homelessness, and lack of access to education and employment have been exacerbated by over a decade of austerity.

“It is not acceptable for the UK Government to sit on their hands and block efforts to provide harm reduction initiatives such as safe consumption facilities in Glasgow. The Misuse of Drugs Act must be urgently reviewed, as it is a barrier to saving lives and tackling the harms associated with drug use.

“The stigma associated with drug use not only prevents individuals from seeking help but also causes a cycle of shame and isolation. By treating people who use drugs with compassion and respect, we can create an environment where they feel safe to reach out for support.

“Recovery communities have made a significant contribution, building a network of grassroots support. The Scottish Government’s public health approach rightly focuses on providing accessible and effective treatment options, harm reduction strategies, and mental health services. Increasing the availability of life-saving Naloxone treatment has saved lives, and I would encourage more people to get trained on how to use it.

“I firmly support the Scottish Government’s proposals to decriminalise drugs for personal use. We must learn from good practice around the world; nothing should be off the table for tackling this issue which has already cost so many lives and devastated so many families.”

Bank of Scotland Response – Albert Drive Closure

As my constituents may be aware, the Bank of Scotland branch on Albert Drive closed on the 27th July this year. After being contacted by a number of my constituents with concerns about this closure, I was able to raise these concerns directly with Bank of Scotland.

Please find Bank of Scotland’s response to my query about the Albert Drive branch closure below:

“I understand that the closure of our Bank of Scotland branch in Pollokshields last month was disappointing for some members of the community.

“We never take the decision to close any branch lightly. In this instance, the decision, was based on careful analysis of the usage of the branch over the last few years.

“Before we made the announcement, we carefully considered the impact closing the branch would have on our customers. Our team visited the community to see for themselves the impact that closing the branch would have, looked at the alternative banking options available, and assessed the availability of public transport to get to the closest alternative branch.

“We also looked at all information available to us – including the ways customers are choosing to bank with us, the number of vulnerable people in the local area, and the accessibility of alternative banking facilities including the Post Office. After carrying out this assessment, we only went ahead once we were satisfied there are suitable alternatives and sufficient access to cash locally.

“As part of the industry-wide Cash Action Group process, LINK also independently reviewed overall cash provision in Pollokshields prior to our announcement being made. Given the alternatives available, they did not recommend any additional services.

“Over the last five years, the number of transactions in our Pollokshields branch had continued to fall. The decline in transactions reflects wider trends across the industry, as people choose to use branches less often – accessing services over the telephone or online, or via the Post Office. The majority of our customers now choose to bank with us in more than one way. For example, 83 per cent of our personal customers at Pollokshields branch were already using other branches and other ways to bank such as Internet and Telephone Banking.

“Our Bank of Scotland Glasgow Victoria Road branch is less than one mile away and there are regular direct trains to Victoria Road with a journey time of 5 minutes. Our Glasgow Shawlands branch is a little over one mile away and takes around 10 minutes to travel to on the bus. Currently both Glasgow Victoria Road branch and Glasgow Shawlands have extended opening hours in comparison to Pollokshields branch giving customers more convenience when they choose to visit the branch.

“Through our commercial arrangement with the Post Office, all Bank of Scotland customers can withdraw and deposit cash for free over the counter, and pay in cheques, at any branch of the Post Office.

“There are also other alternatives in the community including a number of free-to-use cash machines in the area, including three within 0.5 miles at Day Today, Kenmure Street, Friends Convenience Store, Pollokshaws Road, and Sainsbury’s, Darnley Road.

“People can also use telephone banking or our online services. This means that for many of the day-to-day transactions required by our customers in Pollokshields, there is no need to travel to an alternative Bank of Scotland branch. Many customers find the ease of these alternatives to be preferable to travelling to and from a branch. For those looking to open a bank account, or apply for a loan or a mortgage, applications can be made online, or by phone. For those customers wanting to talk to a mortgage adviser face to face and from a place that suits them, our video call service could be the perfect option. More details can be found on our website. 

“You can be assured that branch staff talked to customers about the service the local Post Office offers and helped those who wished to learn about how to use online and telephone banking. Prior to the closure branch staff contacted vulnerable customers to help them understand the options available to them and supported them through the transition. We understand that some older customers may have concerns about banking online, although only 7 per cent of customers who used the Pollokshields branch are aged 75 plus. We also have a ‘Digital Helpline’ which offers free one-to-one guidance over the phone to support customers using the Internet for banking. Customers with an identified need for this service were provided with contact details, enabling them to get free support if required. We will also supply a free tablet and SIM card with data in cases where people cannot afford to go online.

“Our online banking provides a variety of tools for managing a customer’s money. If customers are apprehensive about using this, we have a section on our website with a step-by-step guide, showing how they can get set up. We also have a section that explains how customers can protect themselves online. Further details can be found on our website here.

“We also try to make sure banking is easy for people of all abilities and needs. Customers who have a disability or impairment or would just like extra help can find out more information about the ways we can support them by discussing things with local branch staff or by visiting our website here.”


Alison Thewliss, the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, has backed calls by the Scottish Government for the decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use.

Ministers in Scotland have called on the UK Government to agree to proposals.

Drug laws are currently reserved to Westminster.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Scotland’s drugs policy minister Elena Whitham called for a public health approach to tackling the drugs crisis.

She said discrimination would mean people found in possession of drugs were “treated and supported rather than criminalised and excluded”.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said

“I am pleased to see the Scottish Government taking a bold step towards addressing the complex issue of drug use by proposing the decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use. This approach recognises that addiction is primarily a health issue and should be treated as such, rather than as a criminal matter.

“Decades of evidence and international experiences have shown that punitive approaches to drug use have not been successful in reducing drug-related harms. Instead, they have perpetuated a cycle of criminalisation, stigmatisation, and marginalisation, leading to devastating consequences for individuals and communities.

“By decriminalising drug use, we can shift the focus towards harm reduction, rehabilitation, and support services. This approach will enable individuals struggling with drug addiction to seek the help they need without fear of criminal repercussions. It opens up the possibility of treating addiction as a public health issue, offering individuals a chance to recover and reintegrate into society.

“I commend the Scottish Government for their progressive stance and for prioritising the health and well-being of individuals affected by drug addiction. For too long, my constituents have been suffering at the hands of these restrictive policies for drug users. It is high time that this UK Tory Government take action to support people all across these Isles through a renewed approach to drug use.”


Alison Thewliss, Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, has challenged the Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Jenrick following a clash in the House of Commons.

The Minister falsely claimed that no refugees attended the Refugee Festival Scotland, with Jenrick accusing Scotland of not taking in any refugees.

Robert Jenrick was questioned in the Commons today over the economic impact of the Government’s Rwanda policy.

It has been estimated that it will cost £169,000 per person to deport asylum seekers to the African nation.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The Minister of State for Immigration is a complete and utter disgrace. His false claims in the Commons today only emphasises what we have all known about this UK Tory Government; they have no shame and cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

“The Conservative Illegal Migration Bill would be an effective ban on people seeking sanctuary, against all the UK’s international obligations. It is also a colossal waste of public money in a cost of living crisis.

“Scotland’s commitment to welcoming refugees is a testament to our compassion and solidarity. Asylum seekers and refugees must be embraced, respected, and given the opportunity to thrive and rebuild their lives.

“Refugee Week provided a unique opportunity to celebrate the contributions of refugees to our society and to raise awareness about the challenges they face. Refugee Week showcased a range of inspiring events and initiatives that foster understanding, promote integration, and challenge misconceptions about refugees.

“In Scotland, we say it loud and we say it clear: refugees are welcome here.”

Alison Thewliss Letter to Rishi Sunak on Robert Jenrick

Dear Rishi,

I am writing to you in your capacity as arbiter of conduct of Ministers.

I wish to highlight the conduct of the Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick MP in the House of Commons chamber on 27th June. Mr Jenrick made the claim that no refugees are housed in Scotland, and a further claim that no asylum seekers are housed in Scotland. Given the opportunity to correct this demonstrably false statement on the record, he declined. 

This conduct is of the utmost seriousness. The UK Government’s ministerial code states: “It is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

Home Office data from 2020 to 2021 published last year showed Scotland took in around 13% of all refugees resettled in the UK during that period – well above our proportion of the UK’s population of 8%.

The Home Office’s most recent quarterly figures show Glasgow remains the local authority with the most dispersed asylum seekers (70 per 10,000 residents), followed by Birmingham (17 per 10,000), and Hillingdon (18 per 10,000).

Scotland has also taken in 20% of all Ukrainian arrivals under the Homes for Ukrainian scheme and the Scottish Government Super Sponsor scheme.

Following the crisis in Syria in 2015, Scottish local authorities welcomed asylum seekers and by early 2020 there were over 3500 individuals in all 32 of Scotland’s local authority areas, under the Syrian Resettlement programme and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme.

Mr Jenrick’s conduct has not only breached the Ministerial Code, but caused great offence to communities in Scotland. 

The Scottish Refugee Council were unequivocal in their condemnation of Mr Jenrick’s actions:

“We are truly shocked by the wild inaccuracies shared here by immigration minister Robert Jenrick. The minister is either knowingly lying or is not aware that Scotland welcomes thousands of people seeking sanctuary each year. We are not sure which is more concerning. With the proposal of the inhumane Illegal Migration Bill and the increase in far-right rhetoric, including from the UK government, it is vital that we call out these blatant falsehoods.”

I urge you to consider the Minister’s position.



Alison Thewliss, Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, has called on an urgent reconsideration of the closure of Bank of Scotland on Albert Drive following new findings on online banking.

Age UK’s new report ‘You can’t bank on it anymore’, which looks at the effect of rising online banking on older people, has found that 4 in 10 older people with a bank account in Britain are not managing their money online and could be at high risk of financial exclusion.

The polling also found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of over-65s with a bank account – equivalent to 7.86 million people – wish to undertake at least one banking task in person at a bank branch, building society or Post Office.

Nearly a third of older people with a bank account (31 per cent) – equivalent to 3.25 million people – have also been found to feel uncomfortable with online banking.

With these new findings, Alison Thewliss MP has called on an urgent review ahead of the proposed closure of Bank of Scotland’s Albert Drive branch.

The Albert Drive branch is set to close on the 27th July.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“These new findings by Age UK show the impact the closure of the Bank of Scotland branch on Albert Drive will have on older people in Pollokshields.

“In-person banking continues to be important to many of my constituents, and the removal of access to cash in their local area remains extremely unfair.

“While online banking becomes a key part of society, we must not forget those unable to participate. Those who wish to attend their local branch should have the option – instead of being completely left in limbo.

“I ask that Bank of Scotland reconsider the decision to close the Albert Drive branch to ensure that my constituents continue to have access to the full range of banking services in their own neighbourhood.”



Alison Thewliss, Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, has urged constituents to redeem their prepayment meter vouchers issued to households.

New stats released by the Government found that 17,760 (57%) of prepayment meter vouchers were redeemed.

This means that 43% of these vouchers have been left unclaimed by Glasgow Central constituents.

In October and November, vouchers were valued at £66 – with December and January’s being valued at £67.

With these values, the 13,450 unredeemed vouchers have a value of at least £887,700.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“If you are on a traditional prepayment meter, you should be getting £66 or £67 vouchers each month. This is an entitlement which a large amount of my constituents have not redeemed.

“In this cost-of-living crisis, any additional money during these difficult times could make a massive difference to people’s lives.

“If you are using a traditional prepayment meter and have not received any of the monthly vouchers through the post, or by email or text message, you can contact your energy supplier to enquire about this payment. This must be done before the 1st June to ensure you are eligible for the payment.

“If any Glasgow Central constituents are in need of support for this payment, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email:, or via phone call: 0141 552 7117. My team are always more than happy to help with any constituent issues and urge any constituent to contact my team.”


A Glasgow Central constituent has ended a longstanding dispute with Openreach after contacting their local MP.
The constituent contacted the office of Alison Thewliss MP in February of 2022, highlighting issues with potholes in the Govan area.
With the number of potholes and the constant bouncing of buses and trucks on these broken roads, the constituent’s home was experiencing a large amount of vibrations – causing difficulties with sleep.
After dialogue with Glasgow City Council, it was highlighted that it would be Openreach who would need to deal with the case.
A box which was installed by Openreach was also seen to be causing a large amount of noise in the area, which the constituent highlighted in her emails to the office.
With the support of Alison Thewliss MP, the constituent was able to highlight the key areas which were causing the most amount of problems.
Openreach contacted the office of Alison Thewliss MP and the constituent to confirm that the works would be completed on the 1st March, ending the longstanding issues faced over the past year.
After confirmation from Openreach that the works had been completed, the constituent contacted the office of Alison Thewliss MP to extend her thanks for the support.
Commenting, the constituent said:
“I am so relieved to have these issues resolved. I have faced a year of difficulties, and it is great to be able to live in the comfort of my own home without the worry of not being able to have a good sleep.
“I can’t thank Alison and her team enough for the support they have given me in this case. The patience and dedication shown by the team is something which I am extremely grateful for.
“It has been a long time since this case was started with Alison’s team, and I am delighted to see it has finally been resolved.”
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“I am delighted to see this case has been resolved with the constituent. This case has been going on for more than a year, and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult the past year must have been.
“While my team were in touch with Openreach, my constituent has been so patient and understood the issues we faced in this case.
“I also want to extend a thanks to the Openreach, who were also very helpful in this issue and were in regular dialogue with my team about this case.
“As mentioned by the constituent, it will be such a relief to be able to live in their home without worry, and I hope this will make a massive difference to their life.
“If any Glasgow Central constituents have issues they wish to raise, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email:, or via phone call: 0141 552 7117. My team are always more than happy to help with any constituent issues and urge any constituent to contact my team.”